Andy Burnham will pivot his campaign for the Labour leadership towards the right, admitting that the party got it “wrong on business” under Ed Miliband.
In a marked change of tone from his leadership campaign of 2010 when he claimed he was “never relaxed about people getting extremely rich” Mr Burnham will use a speech to business leaders to say Labour should “value the entrepreneur as much as the nurse”.
He is expected to add that, under Mr Miliband, the party “didn’t say enough” about the role that business played in creating “jobs and wealth”.
“I want this message to go out loud and clear,” he will say. “Labour must always champion wealth creation, and show we understand that, if we want high-skill, high-wage jobs, we have to support businesses that create them.”
Some in the party suggest Mr Burnham’s speech is an attempt to move him towards the centre and avoid accusations he is the union’s candidate. A Labour MP, who is backing Mr Burnham, told the website Labour Uncut that he needed to broaden his appeal or risk being outflanked by Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper.
“Andy is being defined as the left-wing choice, he needs to balance out his support,” they said.
In his speech Mr Burnham is also expected to say that Labour had not been clear enough in explaining how it would reduce the deficit.Reuse content